Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Google Mobile Phone

Current rumours suggest Google is preparing a mobile phone. But I would be very surprised if Google got involved in designing hardware - it's not their core competency. Instead, I think the focus will be on a phone communications suite that revolutionizes the way we manage our inboxes, contacts, and calendars.

After all, the excitement surrounding the iPhone proves that people are looking for a better way to manage their personal communications. Blackberries are too corporate and clunky, phone address books are lost when you get a new phone, PC synchronization is a pain, and emails, voicemails, and text messages are all handled in different ways.

So it's worth asking what a mobile phone communications suite, done properly, would include:

  • A unified inbox - email, phone / voicemail, IM, text messages - that synchronizes with Gmail
  • A unified contacts database / phone address book, incorporating presence information, that synchronizes with Gmail contacts
  • A calendar application, incorporating alerts, that synchronizes with Google Calendar

All of this could be achieved using just the phone's web browser, local HTML pages, and synchronization software to transfer data between the phone and Google.

In fact, most of the synchronization software already exists - GData, Google's Atom store of calendar and contacts information. All that's required is an application on the phone to acccess it.

By implementing these ideas, Google would be playing to their strengths - they understand the internet, and this approach brings the basic internet tools of the URL, HTTP, HTML, CSS, and Javascript to the mobile phone.

Immediately, Google would lock in new customers to Gmail and Google Calendar. And one day, I'm sure you will see Google adverts alongside your phone's address book

Personally, I'm excited by this vision. I long for the day where I can access my personal data from any device, especially one as handy as the phone. Let's hope Google follow their instincts and bring the internet to the mobile phone.

No comments: